November 7, 2011
In 1974, I went to see Andre Kole perform at the University of Texas. If you don't know Andre, he is a world-class stage magician and illusionist who has performed in 79 countries and even helped design some of David Copperfield's most spectacular stage illusions. At the time, Andre used his craft with Campus Crusade for Christ. He acknowledged up front that his show was all tricks and illusions, and nothing supernatural. He then used his incredible talent and gifts as a tool both to entertain, and then to share the gospel of Christ. His ability to amaze, illustrate, and communicate with skill enabled me to imagine the reality of a spiritual, supernatural world, not the dark world of liesÂ offered up by conjurers and deceivers, but the world of light and truth in Jesus Christ. I became a Christian through a "Christian magician." This is not an answer to the post, but simply a testimony of the power of illusion when it is used skillfully in the hands of one who believes in the true power behind what we call "magic."
Great testimony from Claymore. Magic can also be corrosive to faith. Once 60 minutes does an expose on a fraudulent charismatic evangelist using parlor tricks to dupe the faithful, many non-believers assume that all out of the ordinary phenomenon are tricks and that all evangelists are charlatans. In an earlier time of credulity, God instructed Moses to place his hand in his cloak and pull it out to reveal the skin disease leprosy. Then place it in the cloak again and...voila! Leprosy gone! The stick in the hand is just a stick till Aaron throws it to the ground. Then it becomes a snake! Aaron reaches down, grasps the tail and it becomes a stick again. To paraphrase Frued, sometimes a miracle is just a miracle. As sleight of hand becomes more ubiquitous and skilled, we lose our capacity for wonder. Whether it is Jesus healing of the lame man, the recovery of sight to the blind or the translation of Philip, God is still in the miracle business. The blind still see and sometimes the dead are raised in the name of Jesus in Asia, South America, Africa and even occasionally in North America. And woe to us when we lose our capacity for awe.
No, absolutely not. Yes, there are Chrisitan magicians, and there are atheist magicians, same as musicians, comedians, actors and all other performers. A magician is going to be more skeptical of "psychics" and such, because they know the tools of the trade. Faith, however, is not about the unexplained, it's about trust in the explained. For Christians, it's trust in Christ. I am an armature magician, and a Christian. While my hobby leads me to understand the tricks of "psychics" and such, it doesn't effect my faith. In fact, it has opened my eyes to see the grand illusions of God. After all, it only looks like the sun moves acrossed the sky.
This post has had me thinking all day...<br>How much of modern Christianity would have survived based solely on the Christian message if none of the miracles had been recorded?<br><br>Could Mankind have believed in a saviour who refused to demonstrate God's power? Jesus always said things like, "Your faith has healed you."<br><br>Perhaps our Atheist Magicians need to try to get 5,000 people to share their food in the park with total strangers and see that this miracle is a much greater feat than making food appear out of thin air with a modern magician's budget.Â <br><br>
I think so and that's all i have to say about that amen.
Fellowship of Christian Magicians.. I love it. Magic and sleight of hand are not synonymous and people should understand the distinction.
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